Itch and pruritus: what are they, and how should itches be classified?

Dermatol Ther. Jul-Aug 2005;18(4):288-91. doi: 10.1111/j.1529-8019.2005.00040.x.


Itch and pruritus are two terms for the same thing. In this essay I will argue that casting about for a distinction between them creates only confusion. Once that matter is settled, it is still necessary to come up with a clinical classification for itches of different types. No system yet proposed, including the one that will be suggested here, is perfect.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Pruritus / classification*
  • Pruritus / physiopathology
  • Terminology as Topic*